After years of speculation and anticipation, Apple releases a tablet device - the Multi-Touch 'iPad' that starts at $499

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By: switchtoamac at: 11:50 PM on January 27, 2010 | Comments (0)
Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the wraps off of the long-awaited and highly anticipated Apple tablet today at the "Come See Our Latest Creation" media event.  The Multi-Touch device named the 'iPad', has a starting price of $499 and features a custom 1GHZ "Apple A4" processor, a 9.7-inch 1024 x 768 color display, and 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB flash capacities.  The iPad weighs just 1.5 pounds and measures 0.5 inches thin.
In the iPad press release Apple states:
"a revolutionary device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books and much more. iPad's responsive high-resolution Multi-Touch display lets users physically interact with applications and content. iPad is just 0.5 inches thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds-- thinner and lighter than any laptop or netbook. iPad includes 12 new innovative apps designed especially for the iPad, and will run almost all of the over 140,000 apps in the App Store. iPad will be available in late March starting at the breakthrough price of just $499."

According to Apple CEO Steve Jobs:
"iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before."

ipad_2up_hometimes.pngiPad in depth
The iPad is just 0.5 inches thick and weighs 1.5 pounds and is lighter than any netbook on the market.  It sports a 9.7-inch display and includes a new to market 1GHz Apple A4 processor that includes not only the CPU but also the graphics.  At the event unveiling the device Jobs stated, "Everything is one chip, and it screams."  The iPad sports up to 10 hours of battery life while watching video and is capably of a one-month standby when fully charged.  It sports a a 9.7-inch LED-backlit display with IPS technology and has a 178-degree viewing angle that supports 1024x768 pixel resolution display at 132 pixels per inch.  The iPad also includes an accelerometer, compass, speakers, microphone, and a 30-pin dock connector.

The iPad comes in two flavors at a given capacity, one with Wi-Fi and the another with both Wi-Fi and 3G. The iPad includes the latest 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR connectivity.  The 3G versions are capable of speeds up to 7.2 Mbps on HSDPA networks.  3G capable models will be sold unlocked and are able to use GSM micro SIMs. In the U.S., AT&T and Apple have teamed up to offer free access to AT&T's Wi-Fi hot spots.  At&T will offer two data plan options.  At $14.99 users are allotted 250MB of data per month whereas the $29.99 per month price point provides unlimited data consumption. A contract is not required.   In total, there are six different iPad versions as demonstrated below:

Standard Applications
The iPad includes applications uniquely designed for the device including an address book, calendar, e-mail, Safari, Google Maps, Notes, and a special iTunes version.  When Steve Jobs unveiled the iBooks application, he called out Amazon's Kindle device and stated that Apple wants to "stand on their shoulders and go a little further." The accompanying iBookstore - features content from well known publishers including HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Macmillan, and Hachette Book Group.

iWork on the iPad
New iPad-specific versions of the company's iWork applications (historically used on Macs) were unveiled.  Apple's Phil Schiller highlighted and demonstrated  the Multi-Touch capabilities of Keynote, Pages, and Numbers. The iPad iWork applications will cost $9.99 each.

iPad SDK

Apple today released a new Software Development Kit (SDK) for iPad, so developers can create amazing new applications designed to take advantage of iPad's capabilities. The SDK includes a simulator that lets developers test and debug their iPad apps on a Mac, and also lets developers create Universal Applications that run on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Optional Apple designed accessories for the iPad include:
  • iPad Dock
  • iPad Keyboard Dock
  • iPad Case
  • iPad Camera Connection Kit
  • iPad USB Power Adapter

Pricing & Availability
Apple plans to start selling the iPad worldwide in March at the prices (US) listed above.  The iPad will be sold in the US through the Apple Online Store, Apple's retail stores, and from Apple Authorized Resellers. Apple has indicated that international pricing and availability will be detailed in the future.  The iBookstore will be available in the US once the product goes on sale.

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